It’s no secret that DreamWorks isn’t doing it’s greatest. The animation company is laying off about a quarter of it’s employees, and outsourcing much of it’s animation work to China, including the new Kung Fu Panda 3 movie.
Now, DreamWorks is investing itself even deeper in China. They have gained an audience in China, especially through the Kung Fu Panda movies, and now, they want to appeal even more to this increasingly lucrative market. During a press conference at the Beijing film festival, DreamWorks Animation CEO, Jeffery Katzenberg, announced that the company is going to enter a deal with China to co-produce an animated film based off of the popular Tibet Code adventure series. And note: when I say this is popular, I mean this is popular with a Chinese audience.
This series follows an expert on the Tibetan mastiff dog breed, as he searches for an ancient Buddhist treasure throughout Tibet. This series has often been compared to the Indiana Jones movies. To me, it sounds suspiciously like The Adventures of Tintin.
Why is this controversial, you may ask? China now rules over the province, with Tibet’s government in exile, which was headed by the Dalai Llama until 2011. China Film Group’s Han Sanping hinted that they wanted to use this movie to teach Chinese values and history to the world. “It’s the perfect combination of content and form,” said Han.
Katzenberg claims that he had no political motivation. “When I read the books I thought ‘Wow! This is just a blockbuster story’,” he said. “There’s no secondary agenda. Tibet Code has all the makings of a world-class, quality, blockbuster franchise.”